When the time for the annual IPE deck cleaning comes, you have to make crucial decisions for the well-being of your precious decking. One of them is “to oil or not to oil?” which puzzles many homeowners out there.

Some woodworking enthusiasts prefer to apply oil on the wooden floor of their patio. Others never use it. Both make compelling cases. Today, we take a closer look at what IPE oil does to hardwood and find out which side is right. Read on to draw a conclusion for yourself and find out if IPE oil is good for your wood decking!

What is IPE Oil?

IPE oil is an oil-based finishing solution for natural wood. It is a blend of nutritious components that helps protect and preserve the natural characteristics of hardwood applications. 

Due to its robust effect and low-maintenance properties, IPE oil is ideal for exterior decking, patios, sidings, and other wooden constructions in your garden.

IPE oil helps high-density hardwood, such as IPE, Tigerwood, and Cumaru, maintain its natural appearance, a vivid color, and a long-lasting luster. No wonder many homeowners use IPE oil to safeguard their outdoor decking and save money on potential repair and replacement. 

What Does IPE Oil Do to Wood?

Some of the most popular garden decking are made of IPE wood. Also known as the Brazilian Walnut, this type of hardwood is widely known and appreciated for its resilience and longevity. In perfect conditions, an IPE deck can last as many as 75 years.

IPE decking is capable of taking substantial wear and tear from UV rays in sunlight, rain, snow, and hail. Nevertheless, it can only do so for a few years before showing signs of discoloration, which usually appears in the form of a silver patina.

If you have IPE decking in your backyard, and you want it to last a lifetime, you need to take good care of it. Some advocate for the use of IPE oil on such decking, and here is why:

  • IPE oil offers superior protection from UV rays and water.
  • IPE oil has an almost unnoticeable smell.
  • IPE oil reduces the chances of deck boards cracking and warping.
  • IPE oil helps keep the hardwood looking new.

Why Should You Use IPE Oil for Wood Decking?

When it comes to IPE hardwood decking, you have two options for maintaining it without installing replacement tiles too often: you either apply oil or you don’t. Here’s why you should use IPE oil for your wood decking.

High-quality IPE oil is a penetrating finish that reaches the deepest inner veins of the hardwood. From there, it builds a strong layer of protection that surges to the top where it seals over the board.

A protective layer of IPE oil ensures that the hardwood maintains its natural brown and dark red hues. It also prevents water from damaging the surface layer, which usually takes a few years without IPE oil defense.

Contrary to other solutions, such as stains, dyes, and sealants, IPE oil does not fade away easily. A film finish would flake and peel in just a couple of years. At that point, you would need to remove it, and you may have the unpleasant surprise of seeing some of the tiles and boards with signs of damage. You do not have to remove IPE oil when refinishing the decking, and you can just apply more on top of it.

When you buy IPE oil for your decking, you will notice that there are several versions available. They have similar compositions, but some have additional elements. For example, if you live in an area that receives plenty of sunlight throughout the year, you might want to opt for IPE oil that is rich in iron oxide pigments. This component can absorb significant UV radiation and reduce the risk of rapid discoloration.

IPE oil can highlight the natural beauty of IPE deck tiles and protect them at the same time. To help your wood decking retain its original color, you will have to apply a new layer of IPE oil every year. Additionally, you might want to clean and refinish it every three to four years.

Why You Should NOT Use IPE Oil for Wood Decking

By now you might be sure of using IPE oil for your wood decking. However, you should know that not all homeowners prefer their IPE decks retaining their natural color. Some of them prefer the silver patina that the wood develops after intense exposure to sunlight. Therefore, they never apply IPE oil to their outdoor hardwood decking, pergolas and the like.

Without IPE oil, the wood decking has no protection against UV radiation. Daily exposure to sun rays over a few years can lead to a “bleaching” of the wood, which takes a silver-grey appearance. The boards may have lost their natural dark brown color, but the new hue is just as natural, and for many homeowners, this is the way wood should “mature.” 

If you prefer the silver patina you should not use IPE oil for your wood decking. The more time it spends under the sun the more consistent the grey color will become on your outdoor deck.

Except for the natural discoloration, you should not worry too much about the hardwood decking losing its structural integrity. Exotic timber like IPE wood has a natural resistance to water and insects. It should do just fine for several years even if it doesn’t benefit from the additional protection of IPE oil.

Conclusion – Should I Use IPE Oil for My Wood Decking?

In the end, the choice between using IPE oil for your wood decking or not is up to your color preference. If you want your IPE decking to remain naturally brown, you should apply a layer of IPE oil every year. Otherwise, you can just leave it as it is and ensure that you clean it regularly.

The best part about not using IPE oil on a wood decking is that the silver patina is not permanent. You can always refinish it with IPE oil to help the hardwood regain its natural, dark brown color.

Buy IPE Oil with Confidence

Tropical Forest Products is the leading supplier of top quality IPE Oil. Browse through certified and graded IPE oils for IPE wood, domestic and exotic hardwoods.